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What Would You Do?


rachelllps
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Hope I'm posting in the right area, please feel free to move.

 

The daughter of our chair of committee had an accident on Monday where she was running in our paved area and fell over- not putting her hands out- she fell on her nose. Result bloody nose and scrape from browbone to top lip. Mum was called and by the time she arrived child was sitting down having lunch. Mum signed the accident sheet and all seemed well.

 

Then I find that mum has photographed child and put the photo on facebook saying "1st accident at pre-school" or words to that effect as I haven't seen the post.

 

My first reaction is thanks great publicity as we are in a small village and everyone knows where the child goes.

 

so what is your first reaction? What would you do?

 

Rachel

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Hmm, possibly nothing. She's signed the sheet, and as you say, all seemed well. I don't think she meant anything by it, or you'd have possibly had an earful already. It seems to me that some folk post just about anything and everything on Facebook, assuming that folk are interested in the minutiae of their lives. I know that my current Chair is one of these and regularly posts pictures of her children eating their meals, watching tv etc. I imagine she'd have done exactly the same thing in your chair's position - she's wanting sympathy from friends I suspect.

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I would take it that mom is noting her daughters milestones. First tooth, first step, first word, first fall. Obviously you have a relationship with mom that will give you a better idea of how she intended the comment to be viewed but you could ask her if her daughter is ok and mention you knew she was a minor celebrity on facebook.

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i agree with cait - some people post anything and everything in their life on facebook - i think its the way people are now - they cant seem to go a few minutes without commenting on something, even if no-one else is interested ! i would just leave it - you have done everything by the book so have nothing to worry about x

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I'm with the others - I wouldn't do anything at all.These days social networking is part and parcel of normal life. I would just think that this is a mum documenting their life in their 'usual' way. Certainly not looking to cause trouble for the group at all.

 

And new parents will always be anxious to find out whether there is anything to worry about. I'm sure you'll be able to reassure them that children always have accidents and that is part of growing up, but that you make every effort to minimise hazards. A good opportunity to bring up your policies in a meaningful way. ;)

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Same thoughts here.

 

There is no blame apportioned and I think it's just a flippant comment to friends.

 

Any questions can be answered in a matter of fact way saying children fall over sometimes, it can happen at pre-school just like anywhere else and leave it at that.

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I don't know, we recently had someone asking for help with a social networking policy for parents, and I'd be unimpressed if my chair or any committee member had put that, just as I'd be unimpressed if a staff member had put it.

 

I understand some people put every minutia of their lives on facebook - I knew someone who gave a running commentary of cooking dinner, not even as comments on her first post but as separate status updates - but she could have put the photo & a comment about 'her poor face!' and then told people that she'd fallen over at preschool if they'd asked what happened. There are ways to phrase things that don't sound as though preschool were to blame & ways that could suggest you were to blame, either by the poster or by the reader.

 

Do you have a social networking policy for staff and do you share it with the committee?

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If you don't have a social networking policy this might be an ideal time to explore this with your committee, staff and of course parents. As others have stated some people can't seem to live without giving a running commentary of their lives in this way. A bit like I couldn't possibly survive without this forum.

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although i wouldnt be too happy, i dont think i would do anything about it ...is there much difference to people stopping her and her child and asking what happened to her face ?

i think (as already mentioned above) she is just recording the milestones, but i would probably think about getting a policy in place -esp if you feel her actions may be detrimental to your setting.

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Yeah I agree really...had similar thing happen recently - it annoyed me greatly especially as parent was ex committee and had often discussed how wrong it was for others to be posting stuff...she didnt name us but again most of her 'friends' would know exactly where it happened.

In our case she was being more than a little vindictive - I didnt give her the satisfaction of mentioning it...though if she'd names us and written anything defamitory we'd propbaby have taken advice about what was the best thing to do to minimise damage.

Maybe in your case the chair just hasnt given it a thought about how these things can affect 'business' even if not harm meant....reviewing the social networking policy may open her eyes to it.

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I think there is a very fine line here and you need to be careful not to overstep it, otherwise a good relationship with a chair could go sour. People use social networking all the time and as a setting all you can ask is that confidential matters are not shared and that anything written about the group is truthful and fair.

 

This child fell over and had an accident, she sustained an injury, the mother put that on Facebook. She has not said anything bad about the group, nor made a fuss about the way it was handled so I'm not sure you have any right to ask that it not be put up.

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I do tend to agree with Carol. You could argue that the mother has demonstrated a very practical attitude - children have accidents, and she's showing her friends the results of one. No word of criticism - she's just commenting on real life. It seems to me that if she sends her daughter quite happily to pre-school the next day despite the accident that's as much a vote of confidence as anything else.

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I agree that I would do nothing. The child fell and sustained an injury and the parent has chosen to share the 'evidence' with friends on facebook. The accident just happened to be at pre-school and I bet mum would have done the same if it was first accident on a bike/climbing or anything else. I really think it was posted because it was 'a first' and not because it happened at pre-school

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I can agree will the above comments - it's obviously difficult to say - but it is possible that this was just meant as a 'sympathy' comment, and there is something truly awful about your child being hurt when you are not with them, and I think that is what was meant......

 

not "look what pre-school let happen" but "look what has happened and I wasn't even there!"

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I often wonder how a social networking policy can be enforced or what could be done if a parent does not comply but comments on her own child and something that happened to them, It is their child and their own responsibility... as a parent I am not sure I would be happy to be told what I can and cannot say about my own child.. I really wonder what all those with the policy in place would do if someone violated it.. what sanctions could be followed through.

 

it did not blame or complain.. or cause a fuss... think to me it is a milestone.. first accident where I was not present to comfort etc.. my little one is growing up type of thing.. I see them all the time

 

I would perhaps have a word and let the person know how it could look to others, something probably not thought of.. particularly as it is the chair.. but think it was an innocent comment and should be treated as such..

Edited by Inge
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Thanks for all you advice and comments.

 

I did mention my concerns to her, she dismissed them completely and that seems to be that.

 

Not the first time she's done something like this (she upset so many of the committee last year that a number of them stood down and still aren't talking to her!)

 

Anyway onwards and upwards thank goodness it's Friday

 

Rachel

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Thanks for all you advice and comments.

 

I did mention my concerns to her, she dismissed them completely and that seems to be that.

 

Not the first time she's done something like this (she upset so many of the committee last year that a number of them stood down and still aren't talking to her!)

 

Anyway onwards and upwards thank goodness it's Friday

 

Rachel

 

That makes it very difficult... As a matter of interest, how do you think she'd have responded if someone had posted something on Facebook that would have been about her child? I've had a few biting incidents recently, and I could imagine one of the parents being very quick to post 'Daughter X got bit at preschool today! Look at her poor arm It was that horrid boy who keeps biting people. Preschool need to get it sorted out!'

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The thing is...is social networking any different in any way to what we do as human beings which is communicate.....chances are as parents we have all shown injuries our children have received to others and said "look what they did at XXXX today" followed by much "ooohing" and "Aaaaahing" over it. Even if you do say "Thou shallnt not talk about such a thing on social networking sites" in some ethereal policy...parents will still talk to other parents, friends, neighbours etc...that is human nature. If they had post some wonderful comment about their pre-school activity we would not be having this discussion but because it is seen as a personal slight we are. We have to accept that sometimes people are going to say things about us which we would prefer them not to....for example this week at our setting we had a mum visit and at that precise moment in time ALL of the older children decided to play up, throw wobblers and be thoroughly unlike how they are 99.9% of the time...I have no doubt our visitor will be going away with a bad impression and telling all and sundry....but that Im afraid is life with children!

Edited by enuffsenuf
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The thing is...is social networking any different in any way to what we do as human beings which is communicate.....chances are as parents we have all shown injuries our children have received to others and said "look what they did at XXXX today" followed by much "ooohing" and "Aaaaahing" over it. Even if you do say "Thou shallnt not talk about such a thing on social networking sites" in some ethereal policy...parents will still talk to other parents, friends, neighbours etc...that is human nature. If they had post some wonderful comment about their pre-school activity we would not be having this discussion but because it is seen as a personal slight we are. We have to accept that sometimes people are going to say things about us which we would prefer them not to....for example this week at our setting we had a mum visit and at that precise moment in time ALL of the older children decided to play up, throw wobblers and be thoroughly unlike how they are 99.9% of the time...I have no doubt our visitor will be going away with a bad impression and telling all and sundry....but that Im afraid is life with children!

 

But this is the chair of the setting, who signs policies, and is the highest person in the setting to issue disciplinary warnings or even fire a staff member if they are in breach of the policies!

 

I am aware that my reaction is coloured by recent events in my own setting, fortunately not as far as I know facebook related... I do think that the committee need to be aware of behavioural expectations of staff and the reasons behind them, even if they are not bound to comply with all of them. Especially in a small village where everyone knows each other and knows who the committee are, the committee is the face of preschool as much as the staff.

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but this person IS NOT a staff member they are a committee member and also a parent. As staff to do such a thing would be wholly unacceptable but as a parent committee member..even the chair whilst it might not be desirable it is going to happen . By all means discuss it with committee at the next committee meeting but you cannot expect unpaid volunteers/parents to behave like employees..because they arent. To do so would make acquiring committee member even more difficult than it already is....and I still stand by the reflection that I doubt if they had posted a picture of their child and a wonderful piece of art work saying "XXXX's first art work from pre-school" no one would have worried.

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In answer to your question Lyanne, I don't think she would be happy if someone posted something on fb that pointed to her child. The phrasing of your quote

That makes it very difficult... As a matter of interest, how do you think she'd have responded if someone had posted something on Facebook that would have been about her child? I've had a few biting incidents recently, and I could imagine one of the parents being very quick to post 'Daughter X got bit at preschool today! Look at her poor arm It was that horrid boy who keeps biting people. Preschool need to get it sorted out!'

was interesting as a couple of years ago when her son was with us she wrote a letter of concern regarding the behaviour of another child effectively asking "what were we doing about it!"

 

I totally agree with the comments re social networking and how difficult it is to police, but surely committee have to adhere to the same rules re confidentiality and putting up comments that might affect the Pre-school, as the staff do.

 

Ahh enuffsenuf, wouldn't it be nice to get those comments

posted a picture of their child and a wonderful piece of art work saying "XXXX's first art work from pre-school" no one would have worried.

how many have got more than dust and spiders in their "comments box"

 

Rachel

 

Thanks again everyone!

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Latest news: 2 members of staff who were previously friends with the chair have now been blocked from her fb page. I and they suspect she thinks it was one of those who told me about her post, but it wasn't.

 

Cait i replied to one of your earlier posts re a policy - I think I will be adopting it shortly if I can get the agreement of the committee, including the chair!

 

Rachel

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Latest news: 2 members of staff who were previously friends with the chair have now been blocked from her fb page. I and they suspect she thinks it was one of those who told me about her post, but it wasn't.

 

Cait i replied to one of your earlier posts re a policy - I think I will be adopting it shortly if I can get the agreement of the committee, including the chair!

 

Rachel

 

I would think very carefully about how you approach this. You could do far more damage to your setting by being seen as trying to control committee members' personal social interaction than is likely to be caused by a statement of fact made about a child having fallen over.

 

Maybe you would be better leaving the introduction of such a policy a few months so the two events are not linked. Unless you are lucky enough to have a good supply of volunteers, you don't want to lose committee members over this.

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Quite frankly this issue is now the least of our worries.

We had a committee meeting on monday (PDO in attendance) where we found that between April and October last year a couple of us were underpaid to the tune of £75 however the other three members of staff have been overpaid £1400 between them. This coupled with the fact that my deputy received a tax bill recently for £1500 as they have used the wrong tax code (now being investigated by HMRC) and our chair decided to buy a laptop with pre-school funds for the use of the committee and supervisor (i've not seen it yet - although it appears it was bought before Christmas). Oh and we've had two £400 fines for not filing PAYE correctly. I'm not sure there will be money in the accounts to keep us open let alone give any issue to put on fb!

 

Rachel

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OK chaps, I've moved this topic into the lounge (only subscribing members can see the topics in the lounge and links don't show up on the front page).

 

The reason is the discussion is becoming quite specific and there have been occasions in the past when topics like this have been spotted by casual browsers and pinpointed to an individual setting.

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Oh Rachel, this is awful.

 

We've just changed to having an outside company do wages as we've had problems in the past... The £1,500 tax bill, has it been issued because of the wrong tax code, or does she owe it because the wrong tax code had been used in the past?

 

I would recommend asking your accountants to go through the books with a fine tooth comb - I make it about £4,500 that you know of so far. From bitter experience, there may well be more :-(

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